Local Goa News

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Heart diseases among Goan youth on the rise

PANAJI: The Centre for Cardiovascular and Thoracic Sciences (CCTS) at the Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMC) has performed over 353 cardiology procedures on youth below the age of 40 years and more than 800 bypass heart surgeries involving 90 per cent endarterectomy procedures, which is a cause of concern amongst the cardiologists in the state.
Stating that lifestyle changes is the apparent cause of the growing number of youth being affected with heart-related ailments, consultant cardiologist at the CCTS Dr Manjunath Desai said that reduced physical activity alongwith intake of food with higher quantity of fat and calories, sedentary lifestyles, stress, smoking amongst other reasons have added to the elevation of the numbers.
Since the CCTS was established on February 13, 2013, Desai has performed angiogram on five patients, who were below 20 years of age, of which one 18-year-old engineering student from South Goa was treated for a rare congenital ailment known as Kawasaki disease and two youths have undergone angioplasty.
Since 2013, the department has performed over 6,235 cardiology procedures and more than 800 open heart surgeries. A total of 353 cardiology procedures have been performed on youth between the age group of 30 and 40 years, while 1,500 such procedures have been performed on patients between the age group of 50-60 years.
Annually too, the numbers are rising. The number of procedures performed in 2014 was 1,589 while in 2015, the number almost doubled and increased to 3,067. In the current year, during the last five months, more than 1,500 procedures have been performed.
Desai stated that the generation earlier to his walked miles to reach school, while his generation may have cycled, walked a shorter distance or travelled by bus to reach school. “But now children don’t walk at all. As parents, we drop them right at the entrance of the school,” he said. In addition, he said that there is no stress on sports or athletic activities, games and children also prefer to sit back and enjoy electronic gadgets instead of going out. He emphasized, “The food habits too have changed. Today you will find pizzas, pastas, cheese, rich foods, which did not exist a few decades back. Stress also adds quite a lot to the heart ailments getting aggravated.”
Explaining about the preventive measures, Desai recommended physical activities that improve cardiac conditions like brisk walking, jogging, swimming and cycling along with low intake of fat and high protein intake with green leafy vegetables. “We never ask the patient to go to the gym. In addition, people should spend more time with nature and Goans are lucky to have a lot of countryside space and many things to do. And these habits should be inculcated since childhood,” he said.
Desai warned that if an individual has a family history of heart diseases, the person has to be more careful and such people should themselves check and get screened.
Meanwhile, CCTS’ chief surgeon Dr Shirish Borkar, who has performed more than 800 open heart surgeries, pointed that over 80 per cent of the cases have been for blockages.
Regarding the prevalence of heart ailments among youth, he said, “The age group I am coming across in Goa compared to other states in India is younger. However, we cannot say whether it is a new trend or not. The number of cases, however, is much higher in the younger population.”
Stating that the incidents of procedures involving endarterectomy is near 100 per cent in patients who have been operated in the GMC in the last three years, he said that doctors in other cities would perform the same procedures once or twice in a month or some may have never carried out the procedure.
Endarterectomy involves opening of the artery and removing the blockage as a direct bypass is not possible.
Borkar said that lack of physical activity is the main reason for heart-related ailments and the effluence has added to restricted physical activity added with dietary habits. “It is much more severe when you get it at a young age. It is much defused as it affects the whole body system,” he said.

NT Network Goa News

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